Basketball-legend-turned-movie-producer Shaquille O’Neal made an appearance at Bridgehampton High School on Friday, August 10, to promote the documentary film “Killer Bees,” which made its debut in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles earlier this month and received critical acclaim before being released on DVD and blue-ray and through iTunes and other digital streaming outlets.
O’Neal came on as executive producer of the film, joining directors Ben and Orson Cummings in time to promote and distribute the film about the Bridgehampton Killer Bees basketball team and the surrounding community. Comparing the film to “Hoops Dreams,” another documentary about basketball and its role in the community, the New York Times said “‘Killer Bees’ fits squarely in its tradition, engaging and humane storytelling that uses the drama of basketball to tell a deeper story about race, class, and the excitement and heartache of young lives careening toward adulthood.”
“What drew me to the documentary was the guys, the resiliency, the coach and the everyday struggles. And their dominance,” O’Neal said during a break from the action on Friday. “The school has nine state championships, which is pretty good.”
Late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon also showed up on Friday and threw his support behind the film, joining former coach Carl Johnson, his assistant Joe Zucker and a host of current, former and future Killer Bees basketball players.
“I went to a similar high school. My graduating class was 39 people,” O’Neal said. “I think here K through 12 is 200 students, with 50 students in the high school. So I was very interested in this. I think it’s a story that needs to be heard.
“Sports can definitely lead you down the right path,” he added. “Sports teaches you leadership, it teaches you discipline and it teaches you teamwork, all the things you need to be productive in society.”